Work therapy: can a cyber worker prepare a retail employee for life as a digital nomad? | Working holiday

OWe started a revolution from our beds during lockdown and now it’s spreading to resorts. Having realized that working remotely is entirely possible, many people are embracing this philosophy overseas. A 2021 report from Airbnb showed that 11% of people booking the company’s long-term stays lived a nomadic lifestyle and 5% planned to give up their primary residence.

Barbados, Malta, Iceland, Bermuda, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Estonia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia (especially Bali) are among the countries implementing digital nomad visas and similar programs for remote workers.

But how can someone who has never been independent, let alone worked abroad, prepare for such a drastic lifestyle change?

The case: Luisa Tulouna works at Victoria Market in Melbourne, where she sells chicken. She is studying digital marketing, web development and writing, as well as Tesol (teaching English as a second language), with the idea of ​​freelancing or teaching while immersing herself in sports. fight abroad.

Diego Bejarano Gerke works from Oman

The expert: Diego Bejarano Gerke is the CEO of Wi-Fi Tribe, a community of over 1,000 digital nomads from 63 countries who travel together. The logistics of living in each country are sorted by the chapter hosts employed by WiFi Tribe. He is also co-founder of Trip to the beachan online course aimed at getting people to work remotely.

The session

Diego is in Bali when we zoom in and he carries a nice pair of cans, essential for the digital nomad. He tells Luisa that he finds his quest relatable – he gave up working on startups (“failing miserably”) in favor of being a freelance marketer himself.

WiFi Tribe started in 2016 when Diego invited a group of friends to work in a house his parents owned in Bolivia. Gradually this group became more nomadic, eventually turning into a formalized arrangement that accumulates newcomers as it goes.

Luisa wants to pursue her passion for muay thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which could take her to Thailand, Brazil or the Netherlands. His interest in combat sports was life-saving. “It’s helped me deepen my desires for personal growth, and the constant challenges are enough to give anyone purpose and motivation,” she says. Knowing the cultures of the country she is visiting through martial and traditional arts would be “the ultimate way to live”.

Before leaving, Luisa plans to save enough for five months of life – around 9,500 Australian dollars according to her estimate. Diego agrees. He thinks people need at least three months of vital capital, plus enough money to get home in an emergency.

“If you continue nomadic list, you just have to research the destinations and they will tell you what the cost of living is there, as well as the livability,” he says. “I would take that with a pinch of salt because you can usually live cheaper.”

Diego advises Luisa to avoid any touristic places, as the cost of living is higher. Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand has a healthy community of digital nomads, just like Florianopolis in Brazil. The Netherlands would be much more expensive. Arriving out of season will also reduce costs.

Koh Phangan in Thailand is a paradise for digital nomads.
Koh Phangan in Thailand is a paradise for digital nomads. Photograph: Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images

Luisa will immediately have a sports community because she will join a combat room. To find a working community, Diego recommends looking for digital nomad groups on Facebook and following discussions on Reddit, as well as finding a coworking space that emphasizes community building.

He says it will realistically take Luisa a good month to find her feet and she’ll likely be distracted by touristy stuff. For this reason, it is best to move somewhere for at least three months.

“The first week, I would probably look around at the gym where you’re going to be,” he says. “Decide if you need a coworking space or which cafe is the right place to work.” Diego says she should make sure her place has a desk and a good internet connection “as a backup”.

Most digital nomads use Airbnb, but paid couch surfing community services might be “worth a try,” Diego says. “I wouldn’t recommend a hostel as most people there are in a different phase of life, trying to party while you’re trying to work.”

It’s a good idea to sweat the small stuff before you arrive. “Get health insurance, travel insurance and a few different credit or debit cards because you will inevitably lose some or they will be blocked.” Diego also recommends international banking systems such as Revolut and Wise. “They allow you to trade currencies at the best rates.”

To get Luisa to land ready to work, Diego tells her to make sure her phone isn’t locked to one carrier and to buy a SIM card as soon as she lands. “Get 30 GB of data [with the sim] so that in the event of an internet outage, you can continue to work using your phone as a hotspot,” says Diego. It’s even worth bringing a pocket wifi router like GlocalMe in case she can’t make it to a dummy store.

As for the job itself, he warns that finding a job locally – such as in retail or hospitality – is often not an option. Tax rules and visa requirements also vary from country to country.

Diego recommends Luisa immediately start building a marketing and copywriting portfolio using a platform like Upwork Where Fiverr. “I started my marketing with a family contact and asked if I could learn on the job and only charge him half the time, then I went to Upwork to get into it too,” he says. .

Getting great reviews now will be key to attracting new customers. “If you’re working with a first client, have them invoice you through Upwork,” Diego says. “You will lose money because of this [Upwork takes between 5% and 20%], but what is more important is that you will set up a portfolio and they will give you an exam at the end. Just make sure they give you a review. The same goes for teaching English – you can put it on that too.

There are many platforms to find remote work (some are free and others have a subscription system): Remote jobs for digital nomads; World of digital nomads; pangian, We work remotely, Flexible jobs and Just at a distance.

A word of warning though: it’s common for freelancers to go through feast and famine phases, which is why these three months of saved expenses are so important.

Luisa’s takeaways

Luisa joined Nomad List and Diego signed her up for Beach Commute for free.

“The first phase is the preparation stage,” she says. “I need to focus more on my studies before I get distracted by all the potential jobs I could get.”

“Phase two is about building the portfolio, working for free or at low cost to get a foot in the door, and phase three is figuring out where I’m going and what I need to do to be in this country legally.”

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